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R & B Singer James Ingram Has Died

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James Ingram (2/16/52 – 1/29/19)

R & B singer, James Ingram has died at the age of 66. A native of Akron, Ohio, Ingram was a double Grammy award winner and two time Oscar nominee.

In the 1970’s Ingram got his start performing with the Akron Ohio group, Revolution Funk before becoming a session artist working with artists such as Ray Charles and Marvin Gaye. Although a talented musician who played multiple instruments, his signature baritone voice ultimately became his claim to fame. Ingram’s soulful voice dominated the R&B scene during the 80’s and early 90’s. News outlet TMZ reports that Ingram was suffering from brain cancer. During his career, he achieved 8 top forty hits, including his 1982 duet with Patti Austin, “Baby Come To Me”, and “I Don’t Have A Heart” released in the 90’s which went No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100. His songwriting abilities caught the attention of Quincy Jones.

Continue reading “R & B Singer James Ingram Has Died”

Celebrating The 50th Anniversary Of, “Sitting By The Dock Of The Bay”

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Today, January 8, 2018 marks 50 years since the posthumous release of, “Sitting By The Dock Of The Bay. ” by Otis Redding (1941-1967) in 1968. It was the first posthumous recording to reach number one in the U.S. The song was not his typical soulful sound and he was strongly advised not to release it. However, Redding felt strongly that it would be a number one hit. He was right! Redding died in a plane crash, at age 26, about a month before the song was released.

Shout out to Black Mail follower and supporter JaDonnia B. for suggesting the idea for this post!

Check out her blog, “Diversity University” !


Quote: “My authenticity is my rebellion.” -Viola Davis

Black History: Special Delivery!!

My authenticity is my rebellion.” -Viola Davis

Happy Birthday Denzel Washington!

Black History: Special Delivery!!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY DENZEL WASHINGTON! Washington was born on December 28, 1954 in Mt. Vernon, NY. His father was a Pentecostal pastor. In addition, his father also worked for the New York City Water Department and S. Klein Department Store. His mother owned a beauty parlor. When he was 14, his parents divorced and his mother sent him to a private military school. She was concerned that his friends were having a negative influence on him. Washington credits his time at the school as having a profound impact on him.

He attended Fordham University and graduated with B.A. in Journalism. Washington married Paula Pearson in 1983. They met on the set of his first film, “Wilma”. They have 4 adult children.

Here are some interesting facts you may not know:

1)A woman getting her hair done at his mother’s beauty parlor wrote down a prophecy that he would speak to millions. Boy was she right! Washington still keeps the piece of paper to this day.

2)Washington is the 2nd black actor to win an Academy Award for Best Actor. Sidney Poitier was the first black winner in 1963.

3)At one time Washington considered becoming a preacher/pastor. Throughout his career he has contemplated whether or not he should have pursued preaching instead of acting.

4)He credits prayer as a guiding force in helping him select acting roles.

5)Washington confronted director Quentin Tarantino on the set of “Crimson Tide” for use of the n-word in his movies. Embarrassed, Tarrantino wanted to continue the conversation in a more private area. Washington refused to do so.

6)As a college student at Fordham, Washington played collegiate basketball as a guard for coach P.J. Carlisemo.


Remembering “The Godfather” James Brown

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Today we remember THE GODFATHER OF SOUL, James Joseph Brown, (5/3/33 – 12/25/06). Hard to believe it’s been 11 years! Gone too soon! We hope you enjoy these photos.

Robert Guillaume Dies At Age 89

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Robert Guillaume (1924-2017) died on 10/24/17 at the age of 89 at his home in Los Angeles.

He was born Robert Williams but changed his last name because he thought it gave him more distinction. Guillaume had a troubled start in life. It is reported that his mother disliked him because of his dark skin. From St. Louis, MO, the family was poor. He didn’t know his father. His mother was a prostitute. He would go on to find fame and fortune in TV and theater. He was the first African American to play the lead role in Phantom Of The Opera. He was also played a lead role in the first all black cast of Guys and Dolls for which he won an Emmy in 1977. Guillaume played the role of Frederick Douglass in the 1985 mini series, North and South as well as the voice of Rafiki in Lion King in 1994 as well.

He is survived by 4 children.


Black Mail Fast Fact: The First Woman Inducted Into The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame

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Aretha Franklin (1942 – ) was THE FIRST woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame! Her iconic sound remains timeless!!


Happy Birthday To “The Maestro” Barry White

Black History: Special Delivery!!

Barry White was born in Galveston, TX but grew up in South Central, Los Angeles, California. He was raised by his mother. At the time of his birth, his father was married to another woman. Whit grew up in poverty and also got involved in gangs as a teenager. His mother gave him music lessons. Disabled by arthritis, she also gave lessons to make extra money. White learned to play on his mother’s second hand $50 upright piano. She wanted to teach him how to read music. But he asked her to let him learn his own way and she did! He never learned to read music but became an accomplished composer and arranger.  As a youth he was placed in juvenile detention after stealing tires that were worth thousands of dollars. While in detention, he heard the Elvis Presley song, “It’s Now or Never” and decided to turn his life around. Continue reading “Happy Birthday To “The Maestro” Barry White”

Nancy Wilson: Iconic Songstress Turns 80

Black History:  Special Delivery!!

Nancy Wilson (1927 – ), legendary vocalist with an iconic sound! Born in Chillicothe, OH, she began singing at age 4 sand hasn’t stopped!  On February 20, 2017, she celebrated her 80th birthday!  Check out this short video celebrating her life and legacy!

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